New SCANDAL: “Story”

Following the relative clank of their last single “Shukan Sentimental,” Osaka schoolgirl quartet SCANDAL strike back with the much more enjoyable blast of “Story.” Whereas “Sentimental” came off as really phoned in, the band just happy to be soundtracking the credits to a popular anime, “Story” wastes none of its four-minute run. The verses serve as energetic examples of J-Rock at its most pleasurable, and the chorus stands as one of the band’s best in a real impressive collection of them. Sure, it’s no major departure from anything the band has done in the past but who cares when they do this so well? Overall, great single.

The real story (pun not intended) of SCANDAL’s newest song is how the band is being subtly repackaged. The video for “Story” comes off as an introduction – I assume Epic Records Japan plan on using this song as a starting point in an effort to make this group huge, so the little “meet the member” shots interjected during the clip make sense. As does the other prominent change to the band meant to sell units…this video oozes sex. It’s not like lust was absent from the band before – they wear school uniforms for crying out loud – but compare “Story” to an earlier SCANDAL clip like “Koi Moyou.” On “Story” the provocative runs the gamut from subtle…the wind-swept close-ups of the members staring into the camera…to the obvious…SCANDAL girl licking ice cream cone, SCANDAL girl sucking lollipop…to the WHOA…2:56 mark yo. It’s an interesting rebranding bound to sell a lot more copies.

Also…why are they playing in front of stacks of water jugs?

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